Wednesday, April 28, 2010
We are in the town of Escalante for a hot minute to get clean. There's an outfitter shop here with gear, pizza, beer and running water. So we paid $5 each for a shower (and I milked every cent out of that) and we are sitting in the parking lot waiting on our towels to dry just enough so we can go back out. We're headed down "Hole-in-the-Rock Road" to explore a canyon or two a day for the next week. i'm stoked about setting up a base camp, as it's been a while since we've been in one place for more than a 24-hour period. I loaded some more pics on Facebook... but haven't gotten around to editing them and making them cool to show over here. So next week or so.... stay tuned.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
April 18-21 Days 5-9 (but that doesn't seem right- so I'm giving up on days).
Things we dscovered this week:
* When the Nation Park Service tells you you need High Clearance/ 4WD, they are not lying!
The Dollhouse is located 87 miles down a dirt road near the Colorado/Green River intersection. We started about 40 miles in, in Robber's Roost (where the last post took place). We left from the Hans' Flat Ranger Station in Canyonland's NP around nine in the morning. We were on a mission to meet up with a rafting trip that several of our friends from Jackson were a part of. They were scheduled to be there on the morning of the 18th, we knew it was going to be a two mile hike from the Dollhouse to the river, so we had our backpacks ready to go. 32 miles from the ranger station we saw a sign that said HC/4WD ONLY but figured the Subaru was "close enough." We made exactly one technical move on some rocks before we had to stop. We made a quick switch to the ultra-light set up and started off on mountain bikes.
The top of Flint Trail- quite possibly the steepest road I've been in the car for.
Me, moving rocks so we didn't bottom out on the Subaru
* There are nice people in the world
As soon as we set off on our bikes- with me wobbling on my bike under the weight of my bike- we passed a group of middle-aged car campers in the appropriate HC/4WD vehicles. They, too, were going to the Dollhouse and offered to carry our packs. We rode 15 or so miles before the road conditions turned into deep sand (have you ever tried to ride a bike on sand?!?) and had to ditch the bikes behind a tree and walk the remaining two miles to the Dollhouse, get our packs and then hike the 2 miles down to the river. I began calling it the "Desert Triathlon."
Josh and our bikes somewhere along the way
* Again, this Earth is freaking AMAZING!
By the time we got to the Dollhouse (in 4.5 hours- beating the folks with our packs by about 45 minutes)
I was so tired, I could barely move. I rested in Josh's embrace for a few minutes, let out some deep breaths and then looked around...
Finally, we got our packs and headed down the trail to Spanish Bottom in search of our river rat friends.
*Things do not always work out has you hoped/planned
Sadly, after a full day's work, we did not reach our friend on the river that night- we went up river when we were supposed to go down river and missed the mark. We slept on a sandy beach (me without dinner, I was so exhausted). The next morning we woke up and backtracked a mile, then headed down river for about a mile- and voila! there are our people!!
*There is something to be said for a day's rest
I stayed and rested on the beach while the raft crew and Josh went to explore the Dollhouse. After two BIG days of physical activity and knowing that I had a 20 mile exit from the beach, I chose to catch a tan and rest my aching muscles.
*Miracles DO happen
I was sitting around the raft camp, sipping a PBR when out of nowhere, Kevin, one of our friends from Jackson walks around the corner. HE DROVE HIS CAR ALL THE WAY TO THE DOLLHOUSE! AND had room for our bikes!
The next morning, we woke up early and headed up to the Dollhouse. Thanks to my day of rest, I smoked the boys up the steep mountain. With time Kevin bought us, we spent the day exploring the Dollhouse. I cannot even put into words the magnificent beauty of this place...
We camped another night and then hit the road early. We made it back to the Subaru in a mere 3 hours- then all the way to Green River by 4 pm. We ate at Ray's Tavern, a local favorite, had some 3.2% beer on tap, then checked into a hotel room. Here we sit, in Green River, to tell the tale of excitement and beauty. We are re-grouping, doing laundry and repacking the car. We plan to head to Moab tomorrow to read some guide books and poke around town then head back to the wilderness. We should have more to share in a week or so!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
April 15- Day Two
Getting started is always the hardest part of any adventure. There's the planning, which for the most part we did months ago, but there's always last minute shit-we-forgot errands. These errands are are fun- but hectic. Today we spent the better part of the day running around a town we don't live in trying to tie up the last of the loose ends. Finally we got to our first real stop on our trip, and for the first time really got to know our Universe. We are just beginning the long journey of becoming the most efficient, dialed-in, badass travelers. There are certainly things that need to be tweaked- but that's part of the fun! My food boxes need some attention, but I'll have to cook a few more meals to figure that one out. There are other things that I'm sure need reorganizing, but we won't notice until we come across an issue.
There is bound to be a learning curve in EVERY aspect of our trip, where and when to get gas, how to cook the best meals, where to hike- Our trip will no doubt be full of discovery...
April 16 Day 3
Things we discovered (or rediscovered) today:
*There are more things that we need quick access to than there are "quick access places" (qaps) in the car
Annoyingly, we have the bikes on the back of the car, because we don't have roof racks for them- so every time we need to get to something we either have to a) have Josh hold the tailgate with the bikes (HEAVY) up while I quickly root through the stuff to get to whatever it is we need or b) take the bikes off, open back hatch, get what we need then reattach bikes. This makes our only two "qaps" the back doors- leaving us with very little. It's a constant unpack and repack mess.
*I suffer from severe dust allergies, apparently.
Who knew? Not I! I thought I had no major physical ailments. Well, the dust makes my sinuses close up and swell. I can't blow my nose, 'cause it's so dry but I feel like I have a million pounds of snot in my face.
*Failed attempts to do something epic will happen, however, we can still see some pretty cool stuff.
*Cows apparently give birth in the first two weeks of April
we saw SEVERAL babies (and may have heard one giving birth all night)!!
*Red beans and Rice with Summer Sausage and pepper jack cheese is the Bomb!
April 17, day 4
Things we (re)discovered today
*Earth is a spectacular planet and we are pretty damn lucky to have the opportunity and ability to explore as much of it as possible!
*Mirages are not a myth!
The desert (I was WELL hydrated!) will make you see things that are not there!
*Chimney-ing is much easier going down.
If it was trying on the way down, going up is going to be twice as hard.
*Gear that is designed for the job you need it for is worth every penny!
My new shoes (bought on sale for $75!) grip so well on rock, I feel like Spiderman!
*Echos can really happen like they do in the movies.
We yelled in a canyon and heard a response as clear as day a few seconds later.
*We are small
*Cooking in bed after a long day's hike is awesome!
if you would like to see ALL the pics you can view my facebook album here.
also, sorry for the wishy-washy left, center, small, large pics- the Internet here in Green River Utah is kinda crappy and I don't feel like re-uploading.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
We're out!! We have the car packed, the condo cleaned, security deposit back in our (ok, mine- I love Josh, but we are NOT co-banking anytime soon) account. Now we are waiting on parts of the Yakima rack that I ordered from ebay to come from UPS and we're taking off.
We'll be bee-lining it to SLC tonight, to get up and tie up a few more loose ends in the big city (camera battery so you guys can enjoy what we see and a car battery so we don't get stranded in the desert).
Hope you guys have a great week! I'll update as soon as I have something to report and have Internet connection.
PEACE and LOVE!!! (guess I'm kinda a hippie now?!?! lol)
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
We got all of our stuff in storage! We were able to rent a 5x5 unit for only $35 a month. And the rest of April is only a DOLLAR! woot woot. SO we prepaid through July- 106 bucks and our stuff is safe and sound until we return. Sadly though, our ski/snowboard gear is in there too =( But the fact that BOTH Josh and I have only enough stuff to fill half a storage unit is pretty impressive.
After loading the storage unit we went to Targhee and had a parking lot party before seeing Equal Eyes. Six of us camped out in the parking lot (Two people and a dog in the back of the Subbie is pushing it- glad we're leaving Elu in Jackson this summer). We woke up early and went skiing! After a good day on the hill, we passed back by our storage unit in Victor and gingerly placed our snow gear in the box with the rest of our stuff and headed home.
Now all we have to do is pack for the trip. The dining room is the staging area- right now it's a mess- but that's the fun part. I get to meticulously organize all gear, clothing, food, recreation and "business" and make it fit in the car.
We are on the lookout for a second Skybox. We, for obvious reasons, do not want to pay full price for a new one, so we've been checking Craig's list and ebay for used ones. If you know of anyone in the tri-state area that may have one for sale, please email me email@example.com even if it's not in great condition, we are not afraid of bungee cords or duct tape!
The MOST FUN part, though is researching! Every time I tell people that we're going Canyoneering we usually get: "OH! You have to go..." We proceed to get all kinds of beta about Zion, Escalante, Grand Canyon etc etc. I've only spent a very brief time in Utah and no time in Arizona and southern Nevada, so I am STOKED to do some exploring.
Here's a little taste of what is soon to come:
Friday, April 9, 2010
Well, since my last "Condo-to-Subaru" entry we have made some changes...
We're leaving in FIVE days.
SO, my take-your-time guide to downsizing and organizing your storage boxes has been foiled. It has since turned into a "Get it done in a semi-organized, yet somewhat hasty manner."
Wednesday morning: Josh and I are both officially "temporarily retired." We wake up (annoyingly) early and get to town! Gung Ho! Got. Stuff. Done! Hung around and saw a movie :::side note, Hot Tub Time Machine is an excellent and hilarious movie- go see it!:::
Thursday morning: We successfully slept in, and went to town. Helped our friend Andy move. Came to the conclusion that we should meet up with Andy in the desert at a place called the Dollhouse. The river trip he's on is camping there on the 18th... so we have to leave here on the 15th. Done! It's going to be a blast, but that just took three whole days away from my calm, collected, this-time's-gonna-be-different packing experience. Then we proceeded to spend the rest of the day hurrying up to wait... no big deal- my list is only getting longer by the second.
Friday morning: we wake up too early, and force ourselves to stay in bed. We are only going to have this luxury five more times (for a while). So we watch a movie on Netflix (World's Greatest Dad is NOT a comedy... even though it's listed as one...) We get up and go to town. Today was a slightly more productive town day, and we made it back home before 5pm. We spent three hours cleaning, packing, tossing, semi-organizing and separating. Everything that's going on the rip with us is finding it's way to the dining room table. Laundry is being rotated every 45 minutes or so and boxes are being stacked on one side of the room.... Boxes are organized only slightly. The only comforting thing is that Josh has his own pile. Everything that is "my realm" is in my boxes- a mess, but at least it's only my mess. So tomorrow we are meeting our new "landlord" at the storage unit (4 pm) with a load. We are making the drive over the pass (about 35-40 minutes) to save some cash- PLUS SIDE: Grand Targhee resort is still running the lifts. And they have a band! So it's looking like we'll be storing, partying, sleeping in the car and waking up to ski some pow (it snowed up high today).
The countdown has begun: Five days to departure. And I would say we are on schedule to leave... let's hope it stays that way!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
GeoTagged, [N43.49949, E110.78871]
Ok- I'm getting ready or the trip and thought to myself that there may be times when I really want to let u know why's going on with us. But we won't always b around wifi... So I'm doing this little ditty on the phone to see if it works... Just in case we need to use it:)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Closets are FUN! (not)
SO on my clothing reduction I had to break it down even more... four piles were necessary here.
1-keep with: this is a TOUGH decision. because I never know what I'm going to need- especially given the climates I'll be traveling though. But clothes are a luxury on this trip.
2- storage: most things in this pile ended up being strictly winter clothes and "fancy" clothes
3- Browse-N-Buy :our local thrift store... pretty small pile, because I recently purged a lot.
4- Christen's pile- I made a deal with my dear friend that she could "babysit" some of my summer clothes and shoes while I was gone. She's a lucky girl that she's my exact body twin- down to the freakishly small hands (carnies!)
So, I have a large garbage bag full of clothes and shoes and eventually some movies and a Wii console that she will be in charge of for the next three months. I have a few things that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy that are going to the browser and I have a suitcase and a couple boxes of clothes going to a storage unit. The problem is, I think that I still have more clothes than are necessary for a road trip. I have to remind myself that there are laundry mats in most towns and there's really no need to look cute for the coyotes and bugs in the desert. (and I guess Josh knows this by now lol).
SO here's the inventory list of what one NEEDS on a long road trip:
1 pair jeans
1 pair long (quick dry) pants
1 pair PJ pants (they are great for car rides and sometimes you need them to sleep in too)
1 pair shorts (I hate shorts so I'm allowing extra skirts)
2 skirts- skirts are SO vital for traveling, they are comfy and cool yet you can hike in them if necessary- I live in tennis skirts in the woods in the summer.
1 "festival dress"
1 "cute outfit" for when we end up in a town for a few days, never know when you are gonna wanna go out dancing
2 (okay 3) pair of shoes- 1 Chaco, 1 hiking boot and 1 lounge shoe
ALL underwear. I don't care how many laundromats we pass- I need enough panties to last three weeks in the desert...
1 "real bra"
5 sports bras
5-8 tank tops
3-4 tee shirts
3-4 long sleeved shirts
1 pair longjohns
10 pair socks.
2 bathing suits
At first I was trying to go on the backpacking rule, one of each length pant and one of each length shirt- but that's not happening for me. I like to wear clean clothes. so I need enough to only wash stuff once a week- maybe less. This, is by far my biggest challenge on what I can bring and what I have to leave here. I will be shipping some stuff to my sister in Alabama so that I can have an outfit to wear out with family. I will also, most likely ship a few things to Michigan so that I can mix it up a bit when I get up there. I'm toying with the idea of vacuum sealing a few bags of clothes for "emergencies" so they won't take up as much room.
Whew! I guess I need to get back to work, as I sat down mid-packing spree to write this entry =)
Saturday, April 3, 2010
As I mentioned earlier, Josh and I are embarking on an epic road trip in about three weeks. We have been living in a two bedroom, 1200 square foot condo for the past six months. We will soon be living in a four door (guessing here) 50 square foot Subaru Outback. HOW? most people would ask. Well, I am here to walk you through the steps of downsizing into a vehicle.
First of all, it helps that I have a pretty decent sized vehicle. The Subbie is perfect for road trips and, with the right finesse, can fit an awful lot... but packing the car will be the final installment in the From Condo to Subaru Chronicles.
In downsizing, the most important thing to do is take it slow. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to go through everything and decide what you need to keep with you, what you need to put in storage and what you can throw away. Make three piles. You may need to go through the keep-with and storage piles more than once to make sure you aren't hoarding things you don't need.
DO ONE ROOM AT A TIME!!
Start with your smaller rooms first. I started with my bathroom. I have a tendency to over buy products and homeopathic medicines. I like herbs and I have an obsession with hair products... but I only ever use one at a time. so I have a box of half used products under the sink that I rarely use. I also have a hair dryer and a curling iron that I hardly ever use. Also kept in my bathroom is my jewelry. (I LOVE jewelry!)
I had a rule on the bathroom. One (small) box for storage, one (shoe) box for medicines/first aide, my three drawer Rubbermade "chest" for make-ups and products and one travel bag for jewelry. The rest, I threw away.
This box will go in storage, full of things that I will not need while traveling, but won't want to buy when I get back... (including jewlery)
This is all of my "beauty" products that will be traveling with me. (this includes shampoos, soaps, lotions, tweezers, razors and blades etc) I am going to look really cool running into a truck stop bathroom with this guy =)
And this is all the jewelry that I will be traveling with. I realize that this is a little much, but I cannot live without certain pieces of Steaze!
Next up-Bedroom. I have to reduce A LOT of clothes and shoes into ONE suitcase.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Traditionally, on Gaper Fools Day, everyone gets dressed up like a completely clueless touron and skis like an idiot. This year April 1st was a 16inch powder day and it was still snowing! But that didn't stop everyone from acting a fool (after getting in fresh pow turns early in the day).
Jordan and I were posing for a picture just when a bottle rocket went flying past- hence the serious stoke on my face!